• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

UGANDA, Nsambya Real Muloodi NewsJanet Kobusingye, the proprietor of Mestil Hotel, astounded MPs by alleging that a fire destroyed her premises along with her Uganda Railways Corporation land purchase contract and receipts.

Kobusingye appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) for a second time on Wednesday, 09 February 2022, to clarify how she obtained four acres of government land in Nsambya without paying a premium.

COSASE has been investigating how different people acquired huge chunks of land belonging to the Uganda Railway Corporation (URC).

The owner of Mestil Hotel is one of 10 private investors the Committee has been investigating on how they came to benefit from Uganda Railway Corporation’s long-disputed land.

Kobusingye indicated during her initial meeting with COSASE that the hotel land was given to her has compensation for the land she lost in the affluent suburb of Naguru, which was taken by the Government.

The MPs, led by committee chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi, inquired how she obtained Nsambya land for USh69 billion in exchange for Naguru land worth USh1.5 billion without paying any extra money.

When Hon Roland Ndyomugyenyi (Indep. Rukiga County) asked Kobusingye to avail the sales and purchase agreement detailing how she attained the Naguru land, the latter told the committee that all the documents were destroyed in a fire incident that ravaged her buildings in central Kampala.

The committee further probed how the businesswomen controversially acquired an additional lease extension of 49 years and later 99 years without payment of any premium.

According to the court order, government was to process a Certificate of Title to Kobusingye for only 10 years at no additional premium and therefore, any additional lease variation should have fallen under fresh negotiations between the businesswoman and government.

“The consent judgment is clear; she was given this land for 10 years. Therefore, she was supposed to pay a premium for the additional 39 years and another 50 years because the court did not give her the 49-year and later the 99-year lease extension,” Ndyomugyenyi said.

However, Kobusingye expressed ignorance on the matter, saying ULC would be in a better position to explain premium exemption on the extended leases. She confirms that ULC gave her the lease extensions without any clause on premium payment.

“By the time I left Naguru, I had invested too much money; I had done the plans, concepts and involved all the stakeholders for the architecture, which was all stopped. So I think maybe I was exempted out of pity,” Kobusingye said.

The committee, astonished by her claims, gave Mestil Hotel owner up to Monday, 14 February 2022 to trace the person who sold Naguru land to her and retrieve copies of the sale and purchase agreement as proof to back up her statements about how she got the land.


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